My prints aren’t sticking to the print bed!?

My prints aren’t sticking to the print bed!?
April 1, 2015 admin

There could be many reasons why this can occur but below are the basics:

  1. Firstly is your print bed level?? If you don’t have a machine that is self-calibrating and you are manually levelling the bed then make sure that the entire bed surface is at the same level. We mean really level! If you are planning to print at 0.1mm or 0.2mm then all it takes is the bed level to be 0.1mm out and you could end up with a funny looking print.. !
  2. We suggest our range of tapes that can be found here for a hassle free print surface!
  3. No matter what surface you use to print on, one of the most important things to consider is: have I cleaned my surface, and have I cleaned and re-cleaned it again! You will be amazed how dirty your seemingly grease free fingers and how much grease the leave on the print surface when applying tapes. So use a lint free towel with a good soaking of acetone and wash the print surface several times to free it from dirt and oils.
  4. Use what you have – a heated printer bed? Use it! Our ABS requires the use of Kapton tape or PET tape and a heat bed at a 110C, whilst our PLA sticks best with Heat resistant Blue tape and a heat bed temperature of around 60c!
  5. Print in a nice warm room! This is most important with our 3DPS ABS, in fact if you can keep the entire build area warm it is highly beneficial! If your print bed is set at 110c and your room temperature is 20c then that’s 90c temperature range that the model is experiencing. I bet you would want pop off and run away too if your head was at 20c and your feet at 110c! Enclosed printers are best for keeping the build area warm, but if you don’t have an enclosed printer then perhaps try using a box over the printer made from wood or Perspex (or any material you desire, you’re a maker remember!)
  6. Still not sticking? Then ABS juice is your friend. Grab all your old rafts, supports and failed 3DPS ABS prints put them in a glass container (or plastic, but make sure it isn’t ABS based) and add a dash of Acetone. Leave it for a few hours and let the Acetone dissolve the ABS or give it a shake to speed up the dissolving process. You should end up with a runny glue, if it is thick and gluggy either wait a little longer for the ABS to dissolve or add more Acetone. Spread a nice even and very thin surface across the tape laying on the print surface and start printing!

But what about PLA?

In general 3DPS PLA is a better ‘sticker’ than 3DPS ABS but if you run into trouble get a glue stick and apply a nice thin layer of glue on top the Heat resistant Blue tape. You can also try hairspray but be careful as you the hairspray brands differ significantly in quality and some can make your print bed less sticky then before you applied it!

  1. Tweak the model! Check that there is a significant surface area touching the printer bed, or change the settings in your printer software. You can also tweak the raft, add supports or change your original model to suit your print!
  2. Lastly, remember your settings! I know you have heard this before but every printer is different and nearly every print is too! Take notes on what works best, and apply the same principles to your next print it really helps to know what works best.. and to remember it!

You've found the right company for your custom Additive Manufacturing job

Call us now on (03) 9088 3383